HKFC Men v WSA Professional Ladies Squash Stars


HKFC Men v Pro Ladies - All Smiles Before The Match Begins


For the last week of August, all of the world’s top professional squash players (men and ladies) visited Hong Kong to play in the Hong Kong Squash Open. Thanks to the Squash Section’s close links with the professional game, and thanks to Latasha Khan (Chairwoman of the WSA, the Women’s Squash Association), we managed to entice five high-ranking professional ladies players to the club to play a match against some of our best male players. 

The HKFC men’s team were feeling confident – after all, several years ago a similar type of match had taken place with HKFC Men triumphing 5-0. However, this time it was all about getting revenge, and the Professional Ladies sent a very strong team to the club on Saturday 30 August, to entertain a vociferous and watchful crowd.

The HKFC Men’s team comprised our club champion (Chad Sunde) and our club Masters champion (Phil Head), together with squash coach Tim Fan, former club-champion Malcolm Kerr, and our rising star Andrew Ward. Section members turned up in their droves to support the boys (and the girls) encouraged by a free bar (which always helps any event).

First up was Phil head, who found himself on court with Jenny Duncalf. Jenny has a list of honours as long as her legs – British National Champion on two occasions, European champion on two occasions, a member of England’s World Cup winning side in 2006, and Commonwealth Games Silver Medallist in the individual event of 2010 and also the Women’s Doubles as recently as a couple of months ago. In fact, she’s so highly valued that she had to play first of all so that she could commentate on the Hong Kong Open for a worldwide television audience. In a fantastic best-of-three match (due to Jenny’s time constraints), Phil triumphed 2-1, winning 9-11, 11-8, 11-6.


Next up was Tim Fan, competing against Line Hansen from Denmark, the world number 24, with over a decade of experience on the Women’s Professional Tour. Tim is lightning fast and has incredibly gifted squash shots – so it was a shock and a surprise to many to see him getting a lesson in how to control the T. Despite a spirited effort, a tired Tim came off court after registering a 1-3 loss.

Meanwhile, on another court, former club champion Malcolm Kerr found himself up against England’s Emma Beddoes. If ever there was a match to win, surely our club Braveheart could triumph against the evil of England? I’m afraid not. Emma is a seriously handy professional with nine WSA titles to her name, and ranked number 20 in the world. It was nice for the members to see Malcolm doing so much hard work and serious running – as he crashed 0-3 to defeat. I think there were plenty of women in the crowd shouting for Emma (and probably a lot of men too).


With the HKFC Men getting a lesson or two, the match result now hung on Andrew Ward’s contest with Nicolette Fernandes. Hard-hitting Nicolette, from Guyana, is currently the world number 19 and a Gold Medallist in the South American games of 2010. Nicolette refused to take any prisoners though and entertained the crowd with a 3-1 victory and match score-line of 11-4, 8-11, 14-12, 11-8.

Last up, to save our blushes, was Chad Sunde, our club champion who found himself up against the silky skills of Rachel Grinham – former World number one and four-time winner of the British Open, amongst a whole host of other awards. In yet another excellent performance of controlled squash, early volleying and great sportsmanship, Chad prevailed 3-1 in an enjoyable finale to the day’s squash.


Our thanks go to Latasha Khan of the WSA who helped organise the event and to the ladies for accepting the club’s challenge, for putting us in our place and for entertaining the section members and many others in an afternoon of great fun, many laughs and excellent squash. The ladies were good enough to join us all and help the losing players and spectators drown their sorrows at the bar, before being hosted for a pleasant evening dinner down in Sporties.  


The next day the ladies were moving on to a tournament in Shanghai, leaving most of the men to lick their wounds. Perhaps next year, we can host the event again and try and get some revenge? Eh, Malcolm? 


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